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James Franklin has no Comment on Harbaugh’s ‘Tunnelgate’ Criticism

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh

As expected, James Franklin had nothing to say about “Tunnelgate.”

A day after Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh ripped Franklin and Penn State for their role in the halftime skirmish in Ann Arbor Oct. 15, Franklin had no comment when Neil Rudel of the Altoona Mirror asked him about Harbaugh’s critique. 

“No, I don’t,” Franklin said in his weekly press conference. “Nope. Ohio State.”

Franklin is focused on his team’s Big Noon matchup with Ohio State at Beaver Stadium Saturday, not “Tunnelgate.”

Video of the skirmish surfaced shortly after halftime of what turned out to be a 41-17 Michigan rout.

Two days later, another clip went viral, involving a furious Franklin yelling.


“Would you stop talking?” viewers can clearly hear Franklin saying to an unknown person. “We’ll handle our guys; you handle your guys. It’s this fucking guy.”

Franklin then yelled, “just stop talking to us,” before a game official tried to calm him.

At Franklin’s weekly press conference last Tuesday, Rudel asked him about the incident. Franklin elaborate on why he was yelling but gave an opinion.

“To me, we need to put a policy in place from a conference perspective,” Franklin said. “In my mind, that’s going to stop it. We’re not the first team to kind of get into a jawing match in the tunnel. For me, I want to focus on getting my team in their locker room and not jawing back and forth.”

Last November, in the same tunnel, Michigan and Ohio State got into it a little bit at halftime of their rivalry game.”

Harbaugh didn’t much care for Franklin’s thoughts and blamed Penn State for the incident.



“I’ve really got bigger fish to fry than Coach Franklin’s opinion on the halftime tunnel (incident) from a game ago,” Harbaugh said in his weekly press conference Monday. “All they have to do is walk into their locker room. You saw pretty clearly that they completely stopped; they weren’t letting us get up the tunnel. It just seemed like such a sophomoric ploy to keep us out of our locker room. He looked like he was the ringleader of the whole thing. But no, I’ve got bigger fish to fry than worrying about that kind of whining.”

The word is that Penn State’s players also threw PB&J sandwiches at their opponents.

Whatever caused the incident is over now. Penn State has Ohio State to worry about, and Michigan looks to stay unbeaten this Saturday against Michigan State in the Big House. Kickoff is at 7:30.

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